With Chris Olave out, freshman Julian Fleming making big plays early for Ohio State
Ohio State needed Julian Fleming to step up, and so far, he has delivered.
Star receiver Chris Olave isn’t playing in this game, which means the Buckeyes are missing a sizable portion of their offense.
Enter Fleming, who already has three catches for 30 yards mid-way through the first quarter. Including this catch, which set up Ohio State’s first three points of the day:
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) December 19, 2020
Fleming already had more production than he had all season long. He caught three passes for 21 yards in three games this season.
He’s certainly an unlikely candidate to lead the Buckeyes in receiving in a game like this, but perhaps his involvement will catch Northwestern off guard. The Wildcats have one of the best defenses in the country and ranked No. 2 in passing defense in the Big Ten this season.
Garrett Wilson will be another name to track, as he caught 34 passes for 572 yards and five touchdowns this season — nearly identical numbers to Olave. Other than Olave and Wilson, no other Buckeye pass catcher managed double digit receptions this season.
Ohio State is likely playing for a berth in the College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes entered the day ranked No. 4 in the committee rankings.